Even though today is Day Three of Outdoor Retailer, it seems like I discover something new with every turn. The outdoor gear industry is brimming with new ideas and innovations, but here are a five items that caught my eye today.
Stay tuned for even more gear items in the November-December Scouting magazine gift guide.
Sea to Summit dual-chamber sleeping pad: A new ultralight option for those who want to sleep comfortably in the outdoors, the Sea to Summit 2015 line of sleep pads offer two chambers of air to help dial in your comfort level. The base model is air-filled only, while several other options in the line offer insulation within the chambers to help retain warmth. They’re easy to roll up into a bag barely bigger than a coke can. Launching in spring 2015; pricing to come.
(Click through to view even more items from today’s show.)
Sawyer Blist-O-Ban: Fight blisters with … a blister. A fake one, that is. This moleskin-like sticker adheres to your foot (wherever your shoes seem to rub) and offers an air pocket of skin protection. The sticker is thinner than your typical piece of moleskin and stays put for miles and miles. I can see these as a great addition to a Scouter’s backpack during a trek because they’re so tiny and lightweight — you never know when a Scout might complain of a blister. Available now; $7.99.
KEEN UNEEK sandals: These shoes remind me of my favorite pair of Birkenstocks, which took years to mold into a “just right” sandal that still feel heavy and hot. The UNEEK shoes, on the other hand, are lightweight and take little time to mold to your sole. (An excellent camp shoe for those weekend outings.) The KEEN team designed these sandals to use only two stretchy cords to hold together the upper sole, making these a very breathable and eye-catching option for your summer footwear. Available now; $100.
Key Log Rolling: I’ll admit that this is a wish list item, and it’s not something an individual would necessarily buy — particularly due to the $2,100 price tag. But how cool would it be to add a “log” to your troop’s equipment? The logs come with three different tracks that attach to the ends of the log (in yellow), adding resistance to the log as it rolls in the water. My Venturing crew loves to hang out at the lake with kayaks and SUP boards, and I can see them going crazy for log-rolling competitions. The Minnesota company does offer rentals and supports various events, so it may be worth checking out in your area. Check out their website for demonstrations of the sport.
Hydrapak SoftFlask: It’s tough to replace your beloved Nalgene bottle — you know, the one plastered in stickers to remind you of all the cool places you’ve been — but this SoftFlask is great for those who are space conscious. The bottle will hold 16.9 oz. of fluid and breaks down into a collapsible disk that will fit in your pocket (shown in foreground). Cool! In addition to the outdoor world, this would be great to add to your pocket or purse before heading to the airport. Fill up your bottle after walking through security and you’ve got hydration for your flight. Varying sizes available now; starts at $19.99.
Plus, if you missed it, you voted and Owen McCulloch with the BSA’s Scouting Works team awarded Airhead Tricked Out Car the People’s Choice award after the Outdoor Retailer Pinewood Derby. The company happily accepted their prize — a custom Pinewood Derby car stand — at their booth this morning. Congrats, Airhead!